Thanks for the replies. Sounds like you can't go too far off with the Jet. If I could find a new one for $299 today I would buy it in a heartbeat. Can't seem to find it for less than $539 though before shipping. Took a look at the Nova and it did look interesting, but it was tough to find anything about it other than what was on their website. Also looked at the Delta and it looked nice. Only problem is the price went in the wrong direction from the other lathes I was looking at. I know, I know, buy the best you can afford now in order to save money in the long run. Even though I could afford it, turning will be a new hobby for me and it's tough to spend that much right off the bat when I don't know how passionate I will be about it. As some of you pointed out, I also have to keep in mind that I am going to be spending probably at least that much more before I can even get started on my first project.
Which brings me back to the Grizzly. Price is good. Solid cast iron construction. 16 inches between centers (though still only a 10" swing). Wide range of speeds. And I know that Grizzly has a good track record of taking care of their customers (and they are headquartered in my home state). Aside from the obvious capacity limitations, does anyone know of a reason not to go with the Grizzly versus the other models I was looking at? Does it accept universal chucks and other components? Will I easily be able to pick up accessories for it at Rockler or Woodcrafter? Any common known issues with fit or finish? I have a Shop Fox table saw (which is essentially a rebadged Grizzly) and I am very happy with it. I'm not set on getting the Grizzly. However, if it will do the job and there aren't any obvious issues with it, why not? Also, I read and considered the suggestions about getting a larger lathe. It makes sense, but I really think I am going to be happy sticking to smaller projects such as pens and wine stoppers for the foreseeable future.